(HARTFORD, CT) – Comptroller Sean Scanlon today announced the publication of the annual Partnership Plan Report for Fiscal Year (FY) 2022, which details the latest programming and financial outlook of a health plan that serves nearly 60,000 teachers, police officers, firefighters, and other municipal employees across the state.
“I am committed to ensuring healthcare in Connecticut is more affordable and accessible for everyone, and the Partnership Plan is an essential tool for cities and towns to provide quality health insurance to their employees,” said Scanlon. “Like all health plans, the Partnership Plan faced challenging and unpredictable headwinds in the last fiscal year, but actuarial projections are showing that the plan is maintaining sustainable and affordable levels, despite market forces such as inflation and the lingering effects of pandemic.”
Nationwide increases in health care costs and a surge of increased utilizations to pre-COVID levels outdid actuarial projections and affected health plans across Connecticut and the country. The Partnership Plan was no exception. In FY 2022, the plan collected less in premiums than it paid in claims for the first time in three years. In total, the plan took in approximately $622 million in premiums from enrolled members and paid out approximately $659 million in claims. However, current actuarial projections for the current fiscal year (FY 2023) indicate an improved outlook where claims will not outweigh premiums.
Predictability in the post-COVID healthcare market continues to be challenging. However, the Comptroller’s Office will monitor and report on costs from Partnership Plan enrollees versus State Health plan enrollees to ensure the long-term strength and sustainability of the program.
Participating groups can access innovative programs, such as the state’s Health Enhancement Program, which provides lower premiums and cost share in exchange for members agreeing to preventive care and screenings. A recent health equity analysis of the state health plan found that the program was responsible for improving compliance with preventive cancer screenings well in excess of typical employer plans for all racial and ethnic groups.
In the event that the Partnership Plan experiences financial challenges in the future, the annual report provides possible policy solutions for consideration, including changes to allow adjustments for plan cost differentials, creating additional premium tiers, and allowing the comptroller to set independent reserve fund adjustments for the Partnership and State Plans. These policy options, if adopted, would maintain the core elements of the Partnership Plan while promoting fiscal stability and thoughtful oversight.
“The first responders, teachers and plow drivers who go to work each day to provide essential services to Connecticut’s communities deserve affordable and quality health care, and they can get it through the Partnership Plan,” said Scanlon. “I look forward to working with municipal government leaders to improve this invaluable option in the future.”
The Connecticut Partnership Plan, established under Public Act 15-93 and launched in January 2016, offers non-state public employers the choice to participate in the state employee health plan. It currently provides top-quality health care benefits at reasonable rates to 160 groups including over 58,500 municipal, boards of education, and other non-state public employees and their families in Connecticut.